Knowledge base | Replay Poker

Poker hand hierarchy

Royal Flush

An ace-high straight flush such as A K Q J 10 is known as a royal flush, and is the highest-ranking standard poker hand.

Straight Flush

A straight flush is a hand that contains five cards in sequence, all of the same suit, such as Q J 10 9 8 -- in other words, a hand that meets the requirements of both a straight, and a flush.

Four of a Kind

Four of a Kind, also known as quads, is a poker hand such as 9 9 9 9 J, that contains all four cards of one rank and any other (unmatched) card. Hands with higher-ranking cards defeat lower-ranking ones. In community-card games (such as Texas Hold'em) or games with wildcards or multiple decks it is possible for two or more players to obtain the same hand. When this happens, the unmatched card acts as a kicker, so 7 7 7 7 J defeats 7 7 7 7 10. If two hands have the same kicker, they tie and the pot is split.

Full House

A full house, also known as a full boat, is a hand such as 3 3 3 6 6, that contains three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. Between two full houses, the one with the higher-ranking three cards wins, so 7 7 7 4 4 defeats6 6 6 A A. If two hands have the same three cards (possible in wild card and community card games), the hand with the higher pair wins, so 5 5 5 Q Q defeats 5 5 5 J J.

Flush

A flush is a poker hand such as Q 10 7 6 4, where all five cards are of the same suit, but not in sequence. Two flushes are compared as if they were high card hands; the highest-ranking card of each is compared to determine the winner. If both hands have the same highest card, then the second highest-ranking card is compared, and so on until a difference is found. If the two flushes contain the same five ranks of cards, they are tied and split the pot, that is, suits are not used to rank them.

Straight

A straight is a poker hand such as Q J 10 9 8, that contains five cards of sequential rank in at least two different suits. Two straights are ranked by comparing the highest card of each. Two straights with the same high card are of equal value, suits are not used to separate them.

Three of a Kind

Three of a kind, also called trips or a set, is a poker hand such as 2 2 2 K 6 that contains three cards of the same rank, plus two cards which are not of this rank nor the same as each other.

Two Pair

A poker hand such as J J 4 4 9, that contains two cards of the same rank, plus two cards of another rank (that match each other but not the first pair), plus any card not of either rank, is called two pair. To rank two hands both containing two pair, the higher-ranking pair of each is first compared, and the higher pair wins (so 10 10 8 8 4 defeats 8 8 4 4 10). If both hands have the same top pair, then the second pair of each is compared, such that 10 10 8 8 4 defeats 10 10 4 4 8. If both hands have the same two pairs, the kicker determines the winner, so 10 10 8 8 A beats 10 10 8 8 4.

One Pair

One pair is a poker hand such as 4 4 K 10 5, that contains two cards of one rank, plus three cards which are not of this rank nor the same as each other. Higher-ranking pairs defeat lower-ranking pairs; if two hands have the same pair, the non-paired cards (the kickers) are compared in descending order to determine the winner.

High Card

A high-card or no-pair hand is a poker hand such as K J 8 7 4, made of any five cards not meeting any of the above requirements. Essentially, no hand is made, and the only thing of any potential meaning in the hand is the highest card. Nevertheless, they sometimes win a pot if the other players fold or even at a showdown. Two high-card hands are ranked by comparing the highest-ranking card. If those are equal, then the next highest-ranking card from each hand is compared, and so on until a difference is found.